American Sport Fishing Association iCast 2014

ICAST2014-CompassThe American Sport Fishing Association puts on an annual show for retail buyers everywhere to see new products, and make discount purchases for the year.  I attended iCast last year, and enjoyed meeting vendors, and seeing new products.   As a fisherman, it’s a bit like Christmas window shopping – looking at all kinds of amazing new fishing gear, and not actually being able to fish with it!

The ASA is responsible for some of the most comprehensive fishing studies in the country on sport fishing, and hosts this annual event which is a must attend for manufacturers, retailers, and media in the fishing industry.

Being lucky enough to have a few friends in Orlando, I decided to take a road trip, and enjoy a quick stop to see the coolest gear being released this year.  Unfortunately, I chose the wrong day, and wasn’t able to see the new product showcase this year, but I did visit a lot of friendly folks that I had met in Las Vegas the previous year, and got to talk fishing with some talented fisherman like Capt. Billy Clyde.

First on that list was the good folks at Spool-Tek Lures.  While there are a lot of cool lures available at the show – these lures are especially useful for snook and tarpon fishing, but will serve as a great go to artificial bait for many species.  These guys took some serious time and dedication to innovate something to catch the fish they love.  A spool tek has a retractable cable inside to reduce the amount of break offs and thrown hooks on big fish near structure.  They are also planning to release extra length cable leaders for longer deployment on larger fish.

Checkout the video, and a couple of the photos from the show.

These are great looking lures, and really looking forward to giving them a toss soon (I just ordered a couple online – retail is ~$19).

Next up was the guys from Tacklewebs – Capt. Mike Ortego does a Florida Fishing radio show, and was extremely friendly last year, and offered me a free one.  We used it aboard the Marauder, and loved it.  Great way to store anything.  They’ve also added “CoolerWebs” which is a nicet way to store sandwiches inside a cooler so they don’t end up soggy from the ice!   Really cool, useful products from some friendly guys.

supercharge-chum.jpgNext up on the list of great products from cool people is M-80 chum.  David May and I spoke at the 2013 iCast, and he was among the friendliest folks I met.  He is excited about their product, and it’s use.  He gave me a bag last year, and I can tell you it worked excellent in raising fish to the boat in a variety of circumstances.

M-80 dry chum is flexible for different fishing situation for attracting, catching, and even just feeding live bait (lots of folks keep those precious baits penned up here in Miami!).  Thanks again David for the product sample last year, and for being so friendly and enthusiastic about your product.

2PjUBIkvZ3b208m8.jpgFishing Physics gets an honorable mention for having a very friendly booth staff, and some free samples.  They explained their product quickly and simply (hydrogel lures with biodegradable fish scents), and were very pleasant.

I didn’t get the name of the staff member, but it was nice to be greeted by someone when I walked by the booth with an interested look.  Nice work on your booth, and I’l be sure to try the sample.

Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to all the products I’d love to use, but currently don’t have in the Marauder fishing budget.  We’d be happy to take a look at your products anytime if you’re trying to market your product to offshore saltwater fisherman like our clientele.

Overall, iCast was a great experience.  It seemed the majority of the folks fall into a few categories.  1. large retail buyers 2. manufacturers 3. media and other.  While I have written online for many years, I don’t know that I really qualified in any of these areas currently, but it was a very enlightening experience as to how business gets done within the fishing industry.  Thanks again to the friendly folks with the great products, and to the ASA for putting on such a great event.  Looking forward to the 2015 event!

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